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July 2006 Travel Newsletter

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  • Canadian travel news
    Visitors from China at record level in April
    Canadian RevPAR
  • International travel news
    Image of U.S. 'in crisis' - tourism chief warns
    Hotel room of the future
    Survey shows alarming lack of travel knowledge
  • Internet info
    U.S. families stay wired even while on vacation
    Visitor traffic

Canadian travel news

Visitors from China at record level in April
The number of visitors from overseas countries to Canada dropped 2.9% to about 380,000 in April. Arrivals from 8 of Canada's top 12 overseas markets fell with the Netherlands recording the largest decline, down 16.1%.
The biggest gain came from China, where arrivals to Canada grew by 5.4% - marking the highest month on record for Chinese arrivals. Overnight travel from the United States rose 1.6% to nearly 1.2 million trips - that's its highest level since September 2005. Overnight plane travel jumped 3.9% while overnight car travel increased slightly compared to the previous month.
American residents took 1.2 million same-day car trips to Canada in April, up 0.5% from March.
For the third consecutive month, travel abroad by Canadians hit record levels. An estimated 557,000 Canadians traveled to overseas countries. That represents a 1.4% gain from March, and marks the fifth consecutive monthly increase. In total, Canadian residents took close to 4 million trips outside the country in April, with close to 3.4 million of those trips going to the United States.

Canadian RevPAR
Latest lodging report (week ending June 24th) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).

Province RevPAR % change
Alberta $106.44 +3.9%
British Columbia $129.88 +12.1%
Manitoba $63.09 +2.8%
New Brunswick $68.67 +2.5%
Newfoundland & Labrador $110.40 -1.6%
Nova Scotia $82.05 -3.6%
Ontario $91.21 -4.0%
Prince Edward Island $74.15 +6.2%
Quebec $164.79 +78.5%
Saskatchewan $78.58 +30.6%
Canada $106.92 +11.1%

Notes:
RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.
% change reflects the change from the previous week

TIAC endorses insurance program
Based on its work over the past 2 years on insurance issues affecting Canada's outdoor and adventure tourism operators, the Travel Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) endorses the Tourism Industry Risk Management and Insurance Program.
A wide range of activities are eligible for coverage. According to officials, the program offers low minimum premiums and deductibles, up to $5 million in commercial general liability coverage, up to $5 million in property coverage and full protection across North America, including suits brought in the United States.
Tourism businesses offering outdoor or adventure activities are encouraged to look into how the program can help meet their current and future insurance needs. Downloadable guides and online applications are available at adventureinsurance dot ca

International travel news

Image of U.S. 'in crisis' - tourism chief warns
The image of the U.S. overseas is "in crisis" against the background of the Iraq conflict and war against terrorism, a tourism industry leader has warned.
Travel Industry Association of America president Roger Dow, responding to a detailed survey about attitudes to the U.S., said: "Our nation is increasingly viewed with distrust. The implications - economic and diplomatic - are considerable."
Noting that the U.S. share of the expanding global travel market has declined by more than 36% in 15 years, he called on policymakers to "embrace travel and tourism" and recognize its potential to boost the country's image worldwide.
Dow was responding to a Pew Global Attitudes Study - a series of worldwide public opinion surveys involving 17,000 people from 15 countries - which found that favourable opinions about America had fallen in most of the nations polled. In the U.K. - the U.S.'s greatest ally in Iraq - this has dropped from 83% in 1999-2000 to just 56% this year.

Hotel room of the future
It has picture frames that can be filled with artwork or photographs e-mailed by the occupant.
It has a toilet that senses the user arriving, and opens the lid.
It has a shower that, when the customer finishes using it, washes itself, so housekeeping people don't have to.
It is 'Guestroom 2010', a demonstration room built by producers of HITEC, the Hotel Industry Technology Exposition & Conference, at the Minneapolis Convention Center and set up for hotel professionals to examine and be inspired by.
Five thousand people from 40 countries are attending the exposition, looking at technology which can set their hotels apart from the rest.
They're examining items like the EcoPower faucet, equipped with a small turbine powered generator to charge a power source to run the hands-off faucet.
They're learning about items such as Switchable Privacy Glass which changes from transparent to opaque at the flip of a switch. "Let's say you need some sunlight in the morning just after you awaken," says HITEC CEO Frank Wolfe. "You turn the switch on, and if you notice across the room, the windows just became clear. Need a little privacy, you turn the switch and [the windows turn opaque] suddenly you have privacy."
The Automatic Shower Cleaning System was developed to eliminate the need to manually clean shower surfaces. "It eliminates the danger of having a housekeeper fall as she is cleaning the shower," said Wolfe. "That is a not insignificant source of injury to housekeepers," he said.
On the other hand, the Clocky makes it more difficult for hotel guests to sleep through the alarm they set. The clock has wheels, and when the guest presses the snooze button, it rolls off the table, falls to the floor and rolls away. When the alarm goes off the second time, the guest is forced to get up and find the clock to turn it off.
There are 38 items in the display room and all, according to Frank Wolfe, are available right now or will be within six months.

Survey shows alarming lack of travel knowledge
Less than a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, La., and Biloxi, Miss., only 13% of American teenagers can identify the home states for both cities, according to a survey released recently by AAA Travel.
Although more than 50% of teens report traveling internationally, the survey found teens' knowledge of international travel destinations to be surprisingly low. More than two-thirds of teens surveyed were unable to identify the city in which the famous Louvre is located. And, just weeks after the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, barely 50% were able to identify Italy as home of the Olympic city of Turin.

Planning a trip to Moldova?
Check out Moldova Holiday Homes - vacation locations all listed for rent by the property owner.


Internet info

U.S. families stay wired even while on vacation
Most U.S. families are choosing to stay connected to technology during summer vacations with family.
In this age of connectivity, it's not surprising that 63% of all respondents to a recent survey and a full 75% of the "wired vacationers" own three or more electronic devices.
The top three devices that will make it into suitcases this summer are cell phones (85%), digital cameras (75%) and portable CD players (35%). Portable gaming devices narrowly missed the top three, with 33% bringing one along.
For many, today's family vacation does not include a break from the Internet. One third of the "wired vacationers" plan to go online at some point for work, play or both. The majority (87%) will check personal e-mail, but 36% plan to log in for professional reasons.
Advice about offering internet access? click here.

Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada (www.frbo.ca) & For Rent By Owner in Canada (www.FRBO.ca) web sites for the month of June 2005:
Total 'hits' for the month = 156,633 hits (5,221 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 12,034 (401 per day)
Visitors came from 80+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.

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